TILLMAN COUNTY, Okla._Supporters of the "liquor by the drink" proposal that failed in Tillman County by only four votes have asked for a recount. The Tillman County Citizens for Progress thought putting liquor by the drink on the ballot was something the citizens of Tillman County were ready for.
Chairman Ben Crawford said putting liquor by the drink on the ballot is something Tillman County residents have talked about for more than ten years, in a county that's economic development has been declining for years. He believes this would have been a step forward.
Crawford said they had a lot of support in Frederick where the proposal passed with 51% of the vote in favor, "Outside of Frederick we had a hard time getting to some people and that's where we lost our vote and hopefully they'll see this and maybe think again."
Crawford said they didn't want to oversell the proposal. "We tried to keep it low key and stay nice as possible. We lost, so we're going to second guess everything we did, but we think we got the word out."
The committee didn't look at this measure as a moral issue; they knew that several churches and a lot of residents probably would have though. Several Frederick residents felt that it should have passed. One resident believes they are losing business as a result, "It's losing a lot of business I think from not having liquor by the drink in town."
"I think Frederick would've benefited out of it and it's a sad thing that we keep thinking about the past and that's why this town isn't growing," said another resident in favor of the proposal passing.
Crawford said he isn't aware of any current restaurants in Frederick that would've taken advantage of liquor by the drink but prospective restaurant wouldn't even consider coming to Tillman County.
"We don't know what will happen if we pass liquor by the drink, there's no guarantees, but we know we're not going to get those establishments if we don't pass it and the sales tax revenue that comes along with it," said Crawford.
Only twenty percent of Tillman County voters came out to vote but that is considered a good voter turnout compared to other elections. The election board is planning on re-counting the votes sometime next week, if the conclusion is the same, the committee will have to wait two years to put it back on the ballot.